Scott Longert shows love of baseball in books on Cleveland Indians

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NEWCOMERSTOWN – When Scott H. Longert says he’s an avid baseball fan and an avid baseball historian, believe it.

How many teenagers can say that they learned to read by studying the grades in the local paper? Longert said he just likes the one-on-one match between the pitcher and the batsman, where one stroke of the bat can instantly change the game. He also said that he likes the sheer athleticism of the players, whether it’s diving for a floor ball or jumping over the fence to take away a home run.

Longert has written four books on the Cleveland Indians and was recently a speaker for the Cy Young Festival in Newcomerstown. Another of Longert’s books is Cy Young: An American Baseball Hero, which was written for younger readers.

“My publisher, Ohio University Press, approached me about a baseball book for young readers,” Longert said. “I wanted a well-known Ohio ball player, hence Cy Young.”

The best pitchers in the National and American League are honored annually with the Cy Young Award. Gilmore native Denton True “Cy” Young won a major league record of 511 games that will likely never be reached. The total number of right-handed people is nearly 100 more than any other mug in history. He recorded 30 wins in five different seasons and won 20 or more games 16 times.

Longert’s other books include:

• “Addie Joss: King of the Pitchers,” a biography about the “amazing career and tragic death” of the former Cleveland Indians pitcher.

• “The Best They Could Be: How the Cleveland Indians Became the Kings of Baseball 1916-1920” is the story of a team that survived great adversity and won its first pennant and the World Series in 1920. The book covers the historic League Park and Park’s great players, including Ray Chapman, Tris Speaker, Stan Coveleski, Joe Wood, Bill Wamby, and others.

• “No Money, No Beer, No Pennants, The Cleveland Indians, and Baseball in the Great Depression,” tells how baseball survived in Cleveland and other cities during one of the worst economic disasters in American history.

• “Bad Boys, Bad Times, The Cleveland Indians and Baseball in the Prewar Years 1937-1941” tells of years when the Indians had some good rackets but were defeated by internal disputes. This was the time of the “Cry Babies,” the 1940 team that tried unsuccessfully to fire manager Oscar Vitt.

Longert’s most recent work is “Victory on Two Fronts,” which will be released in early 2022 and which covers the Indians and baseball during World War II and beyond. It spans the 1948 season and the world championship for Cleveland. Sketches by players like Gene Bearden, Bob Lemon, and Jim Hegan, and Bob Feller and Larry Doby are included.

To research the book on Cy Young, Longert spent time at the Newcomerstown Public Library, the Old Temperance Tavern Museum, and the Olde Main Street Museum, and Cy Young’s tombstone in the Peoli cemetery.

In his author’s note on the book, he wrote, “There was a great collection (in the museum) on Cy or items that had once belonged to him. Right at the beginning we saw his favorite chair, which he stood next to the fireplace in the house in which Cy spent the last years of his life. Photos, baseballs, and newspaper clippings were everywhere, from his ball game to his retirement. Even his license plates that said “Cy-25” could be seen … On the way back to Cleveland, I thought of the great impact he had left in his hometown and across America. “

When researching the book, Longert said he was surprised by two things. Cy Young moved to Nebraska in the mid-1880s and apparently never really said why he left his family for two years. While playing for Boston, he trained in baseball at Harvard and then Mercer College. He would be leaving home in Tuscarawas County in February, training the pitchers indoors through the end of March, and then moving to Boston before the regular season began.

Longert’s books are available through his website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most independent bookstores.

He has been a freelance writer for 25 years and has published baseball history news articles for Cleveland Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine, National Pastime, Baseball Research Journal, and TimeLine Magazine.

In addition to writing, he is an accomplished public speaker who lectures on the history of baseball in Cleveland and League Park. He spoke at the 100th anniversary celebration of Addie Joss’ perfect game, which took place on the grounds of historic League Park.

Longert enjoys speaking to groups and organizations across northeast Ohio. Dates and times can be found on his website.